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BYU Falls Just Short in Overtime vs No. 1 Chapman

Pre-game predictions were dead on for the BYU vs Chapman game. It was a defensive grind and close throughout. The Cougars gave Chapman all they could handle, but the Panthers managed to pull it out in sudden-death overtime, winning the contest 10-9 and helping cement their No. 1 ranking.
BYU started the first quarter hot! Cougar faceoff specialist, Jack Vassau, won the opening faceoff with the help of middie Chase Paulson, and freshman Cougar attackman Chris Severson wasted no time ripping twine, giving the Cougs their first goal. After secured possession, Max Nessar dodged through traffic burning Chapman’s defense with goal number two. The Cougars had momentum and continued pouring it on behind strong defensive work from Spencer Simpson, Boston Handley and Connor Williams returning the ball to offense. BYU’s Jack Fabrizio assisted Chase Miller for Cougar goal number three — stunning Panther players and fans alike. Chapman frustration turned into a foul giving BYU a man-up opportunity. The Cougars worked it around, and Severson found the net again making it 4 to 0. Chapman’s offense was working hard, but BYU’s senior goalie, Matt Brandenburg, was playing inspired, turning away everything they had to offer. Mid-quarter the Panthers were advantaged by an extra-man offensive opportunity, and BYU managed to burn the penalty. However, just after all-even, Chapman finally found their rhythm and Steve Koressel got them on the board. The Panthers won the next faceoff, worked it around, and Wesley Greason assisted Alex Tomei for goal number two with 1:33 left in the quarter. Chapman finished out the quarter strong with another goal from Auston Nader, pulling to within one, 4 to 3 at the end of the first quarter.
BYU Lacrosse LogoThe second quarter was all Chapman with Panther faceoff specialist Simon Jenkin winning more draws. The quarter began with heavy defensive efforts from Chapman long poles Nicky Mullen, Nolan Crossen and Alex Siegel forcing several BYU turnovers. The Panthers had a man-up, but BYU patiently burned it without any damage. Chapman increased their defensive pressure and goalie Gus Gradinger challenged and denied every Cougar shot. Four minutes into the quarter Connor Reilly scored with an assist from Koressel, tying the game. BYU snatched the next faceoff, but the Panther defense forced another turnover, and Nader gave them their first lead of the game. Chapman snagged the next face, but Brandenburg turned away their effort. BYU had a late quarter extra-man opportunity, but the Panther’s defense prevailed holding the Cougs scoreless as the quarter ended and going into halftime with the lead, 5 to 4.
BYU came out of the half with much of their first quarter fire. Vassau secured the draw. Chapman forced a BYU turnover, but Nessar snatched it back. Conner Williams passed to Simpson who ripped it home, and the game was knotted up again. The defensive stand-off continued and the ball went from one end of the field to the other until Severson pitched it to Jack Fabrizio, who dumped it in middle center giving putting the Cougs up by one. Chapman stuttered a bit, ending good scoring opportunities with turnovers, but Gradinger was gaining confidence, making a great save, and then a brilliant pass resulting in Greason scoring. BYU regained possession, and Andrew McKinley drove around X from right to left, dodged to his right and then scooped the ball into the goal low. The Cougars were advantaged by a delay of game penalty by Chapman, and took full advantage. BYU passed it around getting the Panthers on their heels, and Severson dumped it to Jayden Haws who earned his first goal giving BYU a two-goal lead at the end of three quarters.
Chapman got off to a fast start with a fast break that resulted in Anthony Fassari scoring bringing them within one. Desperate work from both goalies kept the match tense as they each turned away hard shots. BYU committed another foul, but once again were able to burn the time, but as soon as it got all-even, Chapman’s Dylan Garner snuck a goal in tying the game again. Nerves were on edge with time running out. BYU gained possession on the next face and Gradinger made another great save, but the Coug’s Winston Farley threaded a rope to Severson who ripped one from the center arch putting BYU up by one again with less than two minutes in the game. Chapman gained the next draw, but Brandenburg held his net returning the ball to offense. The young Cougars made a critical turnover, and the Panthers’ sprinted downfield. Chapman attackman Regan Kelly took the Cougar defense by surprise scoring unassisted from way out tying the game with time running out. BYU secured the draw and called a timeout. They had an opportunity to score, but turned the ball over again, and time expired.
The Cougars won the face-off in the critical overtime draw. They wasted the opportunity again turning it over. BYU’s Brandenburg, assisted by his defense, fought off several Chapman shots. The game ended on a designed play with Reilly taking a pass over the goal from X and ripping it. The shot bounced off Brandenburg, and then trickled in underneath giving Chapman the dramatic overtime win, 10 to 9.
Chapman very narrowly escaped a young, tough BYU team. Number One proved they deserved their ranking with tough defense, speedy midfield work and patient offense under pressure. BYU showed with this effort their early season wins were no fluke. The Cougars play San Diego State on March 5th at 5:30 while Chapman will take on Utah Valley University at 4:00 pm.

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